Imagine this scenario. You’re cleaning around the house and suddenly find wood shavings and sawdust everywhere. The idea of a termite infestation might bring you a sudden stop of dread. As you’re investigating the area, you don’t see any termites. Instead, you see black ants scurrying around the area. Chances are, you may not be dealing with a termite problem. You may be dealing with a carpenter ant problem! If you’re uncertain about whether the issue is from termites or carpenter ants, Progreen Termite is here to help you solve your pest problem! We’ll have professional inspect the area and determine where the source of the problem is and deal with it accordingly. Here is some more information on carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ants: What Are They?

Ants crawling on wood. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are different from the typical ant you’ll find on a concrete sidewalk. They are named for their tendency to chew through wood and burrow tunnels. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wood. However, they do share similarities with termites in that their presence can cause property damage to homes. For this reason, if you find carpenter ants within your home, you should call an exterminator immediately.


Carpenter ants are typically about 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch long, and are typically black but can vary in colors such as tan, yellow, red, and brown. There are several different types of species, but the main component that most carpenter ants share is their strong mandible, which allows them to chew through walls and woods. Carpenter ants may look bigger than most ants found on a sidewalk, and will be present in woody areas such as tree stumps, firewood, or wood piles. Unlike most ants, carpenter ants do not form hills or mounds, but they form nests, also known as galleries, in damp wood environments. These ants usually come out during the early spring or summer seasons, and are nocturnal.


Signs That You May Have Carpenter Ants


Wood. Tree Trunk.

If you’re uncertain whether or not your home may have a carpenter ant infestation, here are some common clues to look for. Keep in mind that a professional exterminator can help you confirm and detect their presence or judge if the damage is from a termite infestation.


 1. Rustling Sounds Coming From Your Walls

One sign that may distinguish if you have a carpenter ant infestation is if you hear rustling noises from the walls of your home. The noise could be an indication of swarms of carpenter ants scurrying around in the interior spaces of your home. The colony’s nest may be located in the areas behind the wall, the attic, in the flooring or subflooring, and even within the wall or ceiling voids. When building a nest, carpenter ants will burrow tunnels through the wood and can cause interior damage to the home.

2. Mounds of Sawdust

When there are carpenter ants present they will leave behind trails of wood shavings and fine sawdust as they chew through wood. Along with the sawdust, you will typically find a trail of carpenter ants that will lead to the nesting area. The main distinction between termite and carpenter ant infestations is what they leave behind. Termites do not leave behind sawdust like carpenter ants. Instead, termites will leave behind their pellet droppings called frass. These droppings will look like tiny granules that resemble light brown coffee grounds.


3. Wood Damage 

Wood damage from carpenter ants

If you see the first two signs, start following the sawdust trail and see if you can locate an area with wood damage. The nests will be found in areas where there is damp or moist wood. As you investigate the area, look for wood damage where there are large oval-shaped holes. This is a sign that carpenter ants have chewed a tunnel through the area in order to form their gallery. You can use a flashlight to properly detect the spaces in your home in order to check the extensive damage.


It is important to keep a lookout for carpenter ants if you suspect they are present in your home. The earlier you catch carpenter ants, the earlier you can prevent serious property damage to your home!


Progreen Termite Can Help!




Progreen Termite is here to help you rid your home of its carpenter ant infestation!  Our professional exterminators know how to detect carpenter ant galleries as well as termites. We’ll use powerful tools to detect and destroy these pests and protect your home from wood damage! Call now at (714) 677-8446 and schedule a free inspection with us!